How To Keep Your Address Private

How To Keep Your Address Private There are not many parts of your life that are private anymore. Today, it is relatively easy for someone to go online and look up your address in just a few minutes. At the same time, there are some people who have an easier time keeping their lives private. Celebrities, public officials, and other people who are frequently in the public light are able to conceal their addresses. Even if you aren’t famous, what do you need to do to hide your address?

Talk To A Real Estate Agent

If you want to keep your address private, the first thing you should do is talk to your real estate agent. There is a great chance that they have worked with someone who wanted to keep their address private in the past, and they can provide you with a list of steps you should take. Make sure the home you purchase is pulled off the MLS quickly. That way, someone has to go to the local Town Hall if they want to look up your home.

Use A Trust

You may also want to consider placing your home in a trust. A trust will specify how your assets are distributed after you pass away. You can use a trust to hide real estate purchases, meaning that only the name of your trust is going to be listed in public records. That way, people cannot find your address by simply looking it up online, as they will simply see your trust represented.

Form An LLC

You may also want to consider forming an LLC, also known as a limited liability company. The vast majority of locations do not restrict LLC ownership. This means that you can set up an LLC, specify the LLC as the owner of the property, and keep your name out of the public light. You may want to reach out to an attorney who can help you form an LLC.

Keep Your Address Hidden

The internet is a powerful tool, but you should not resign yourself to having your address listed online. Consider checking out a few of these options, and reach out to a professional if you would like help hiding your address after you purchase a new house.


Creative Holiday Storage Solutions

Creative Holiday Storage SoluttionsEvery holiday season when you get out the decorations, there always seems to be a period of organization where you need to untangle lights, sort out the broken ornaments and just get all of the trimmings in order.

Next year, skip the hassle of sifting through everything. The year-to-year holiday storage strategies below will help make next December’s decorating easy.

Hide Paper Up High

Utilize a space that is always vacant — the ceiling of your closet. Attach two strings of wire from the front wall above your closet door to the back wall. Make them parallel to each other and about two feet apart. Then you can slide your wrapping paper tubes across the two wires. No more crinkled or torn paper! 

Bag Your Lights

The hassle of untangling holiday lights every year can become a dreaded tradition. A smart solution is to invest in inexpensive gallon-sized sealable bags. Label what each bag’s lights are for, such as the tree, mantel or outdoors.

Wrap individual strands around your arm and them place them inside the appropriate bag. Put all bags in one holiday storage container.

Recycle Wrapping For Your Breakables

After you’ve ripped off the wrapping and gotten to the goods, don’t just throw your pretty paper out. Reuse it! Run it through the shredder to create fun filling for the boxes that hold your ornaments and breakable decorations.

Get Crafty With Labels

Instead of writing straight onto the holiday storage bins, tape or glue festive envelopes to the side. Then you can write a list of everything in that box and put it in the envelope.

For those who like everything clean and organized, this means that if you switch out anything in the box, you don’t have to mark it out on the side — just change the paper inside the envelope.

Display Holiday Cards Creatively

Receiving holiday cards is a great way to keep in touch with distant family and friends. Instead of throwing the cards away each January, use a hole punch to create two holes in the sides of the card.

Then insert jump rings to make little picture memory books that you can display on the coffee table every year. For more around the home tips or if you are looking to buy a home with plenty of storage space, contact your trusted real estate professional.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 2, 2023

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - January 2, 2023Last week’s economic reporting included readings on U.S. housing markets, pending home sales, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

S&P Case Shiller Home Price Indices:  Month-to-moth home prices fall in October

U.S. home prices fell in October for the fourth consecutive month. Wavering demand for homes was caused by rising mortgage rates and high home prices in many regional markets. The 20-City home price index showed the top three cities with the highest month-to-month home price declines were Miami. Florida with a -1.0 percent decline, Tampa, Florida where home prices declined by -0,8 percent, and Charlotte, North Carolina where home prices dropped by -0.9 percent month-to-month in October.

Year-over-year home prices rose by 21 percent in Miami, Florida; year-over-year home prices rose by 20.5 percent in Tampa, Florida. Charlotte, North Carolina reported a year-over-year home price gain of 15.0 percent as of October.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that home price growth was flat from September to October as compared to a month-to-month gain of 0.10 percent in September. Analysts said that high home prices and mortgage rates have decreased demand for homes as would-be buyers face affordability issues and strict mortgage credit requirements.

Mortgage Rates Mixed, Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher fixed mortgage rates last week as the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 15 basis points to 6.42 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by one basis point to an average of 5.68 percent.

New jobless claims rose last week to 225,000 initial claims filed as compared to 216,000 initial claims filed in the previous week. Analysts expected a reading of 223,000 first-time jobless claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims rose last week with 1.71 million continuing jobless claims filed as compared to 1.67 million continuing jobless claims filed in the previous week.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on construction spending, minutes of the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting, and public and private-sector jobs data. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

4 Financial Benefits of Home Ownership

4 Financial Benefits of Home OwnershipHome ownership may be one of the most familiar goals of adulthood, but there’s more than one reason why so many people flock towards this type of investment and leave the rental market behind. If you’re trying to decide if you should make the big plunge towards buying, here are some benefits of saving up for a down payment and finding the right place to settle in.

It’s More Economical

Many people eschew home ownership simply because it can be hard to wrangle together the funds for a down payment. However, while a monthly rental is money you’ll never see again, the money you put down on a mortgage is being invested back into your home, making for a solid investment you can capitalize on later.

Instant Tax Deductions

The interest that you pay on your mortgage payment can be one of the most tumultuous aspects of purchasing a home, but you may not know that you actually have the ability to deduct many associated costs on your taxes. From origination fees to property taxes, there are plenty of costs that go along with your home that can be claimed for a refund when tax time comes!

Paying A Lower Price

The real estate market fluctuates every day, but one thing is for the certain: the median price of a home is on the rise. While low inflation rates may not be ideal if you’re selling, they can mean a better deal if you’re delving into the market for the first time. Just remember, it’s important to buy a home you can afford as anything that goes beyond your budget is not a solid investment.

A Built-In Savings Account

It may be important to have liquid assets outside of the equity you have in your home, but many people struggle to pay off their home and save money at the same time. While saving outside of your monthly mortgage payment is still important, putting money down on a home is an act of investing, and it’s one you’ll likely make a solid profit on when you decide to sell.

There can be many financial benefits to renting in the short term, but purchasing a home is a more solid financial decision when it comes right down to it. If you’re considering a home and would like to know more about your options, you may want to contact one of our mortgage professionals for more information.

Graduating From College? 3 Things You Need to Know About Mortgages and Student Loans

Graduating From College? 3 Things You Need to Know About Mortgages and Student LoansAre you thinking about buying a new home using a mortgage loan? If you’ve just graduated from college, you’re probably wondering how your student loans will impact a mortgage and what your options are. In today’s post we’ll share three things that you need to know about mortgages if you’re still working on paying off your student loan debt.

#1: Yes, Your Student Loan Will Affect Your Application

You might as well embrace the fact that your outstanding student loan is going to cause some questions to be asked during the mortgage application process. Mortgage lenders have a responsibility to understand the risk involved in lending a significant amount of money to you. And because of this, any mortgage provider is likely to dig into your financial background to ensure that you are responsible and can afford to make the mortgage payments.

Don’t take it personally. In fact, it’s best to be up front about your existing student loan or other debts and your plan for managing them.

#2: It’s All About Your “DTI” Ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio is going to be a significant factor in the success of your mortgage application. This figure helps to determine how much money you need to send out to balance your debts each month versus how much you’re bringing in from working. If this ratio is too high, it’s a signal that you may not be able to juggle all of the payments you’re responsible for making. Also, keep in mind that over time, your job and income situation will change and this can affect your DTI ratio as well.

#3: Missed Payments Can Cause Serious Problems

Finally, you’ll want to ensure that you don’t miss any student loan payments. Even one missed payment – for any reason – can cause significant damage to your credit rating or FICO score. Successfully managing a higher-than-normal debt load means being strict with your budget and responsible with your payments. If possible, try to have your student loan payments taken out from your bank account automatically. That way you won’t forget or miss the payment deadline.

While it may be a challenge to manage multiple types of debt, it’s not impossible. Juggling student loans with a mortgage can be done and offers the benefit of building your net worth while paying off your past loans. For more information about getting a mortgage when you have student loans, contact your trusted mortgage team today. We’ll be happy to share our insight and make recommendations that fit your situation.

Lower Your Interest Rate During The First Couple Of Months With A Buydown

Lower Your Interest Rate During The First Couple Of Months With A BuydownIf you are thinking about purchasing a house today, you have probably realized that mortgage rates have increased significantly. This has made it much harder for people to afford home loans, and these higher rates have had an impact on the lender’s business as well. In an effort to make it easier for people to afford a home, you might be able to access something called a buy-down loan or a buy-down mortgage. It could help you save a significant amount of money during the first few months or years of your loan.

How A Buydown Mortgage Works

If you decide to go with a buydown mortgage, your interest rate will be lower for a temporary period of time. For example, it might be two percent lower for the first year, 1.5 percent lower for the second year, and then one percent lower for the third year. It will normalize for the rest of the loan. Because the interest rate is lower, your monthly payments will be smaller for the first few years. This could be an attractive option for a buyer who expects his or her income to go up in the future. Or, this option could be provided by a custom home builder to get more people through the door. 

Who Funds The Buydown Account?

There are different ways a buydown account might be funded. It could be provided by a home builder, or it might be provided by the seller if you are purchasing the house from somebody else. It might even be offered by a mortgage lender that is having a difficult time getting people to sign mortgages. Depending on the current interest rates, there are different options available. For example, some buydowns give you a one percent break for two years, while others might start with a three percent break the first year, dropping by one percent each year until it normalizes.

Is A Buydown Mortgage Right For You?

Like any option, there are pros and cons. If you lower your monthly rate during the first few years, it is possible that the rest of your mortgage might have higher payments than it would otherwise have had. Be sure to talk to a professional who can help you figure out if this is the right option for your needs. 

4 Reasons Why Your Mortgage May Be Denied After Pre-approval

It Isn't Always a Clear Road after Pre-approval: 4 Reasons Why Your Mortgage May Be DeniedSo you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage – great! You’ve taken the first step toward becoming a homeowner. But before you start picking out china patterns, you’ll want to keep in mind that a pre-approval isn’t the same thing as a mortgage agreement. There’s still no guarantee that you’ll actually get a mortgage.

But why would a lender deny a mortgage after pre-approving a borrower? Here’s what you need to know.

Sudden Changes In Income Or Employment History

A number of mortgages will require borrowers to have consistent employment for a certain length of time. If you apply for an FHA mortgage, for instance, you’ll be obligated to have an employment history dating back at least two years. Any gaps in your employment history will require a written explanation that your underwriter will need to approve.

If you switch career fields while in the process of buying a home and it has a significant impact on your income, your lender may deny your mortgage.

Credit Mismanagement After Pre-Approval

Lenders like to see consistency – so if your credit score suddenly drops after you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, it sends up a red flag. Even something as minor as a late payment on a cell phone bill could affect your credit score just enough to cause your lender to deny you. Pay extra attention to your bills throughout the home buying process, and make sure nothing slips past you.

Taking On More Debt In The Interim

A number of buyers will take on more debt after they’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage. Although it may be tempting to get a new car to go with your new house, getting a car loan will change your debt-to-income ratio and cause your lender to think twice about how responsible you are. If you’re in the process of buying a home, hold off on any other major purchases until after the deal has closed.

An Unsatisfactory Bank Appraisal

Sometimes, your mortgage can be denied for reasons that have nothing to do with you. Some lenders will only issue a mortgage if the property value of the house in question is appraised above a certain level. Others will deny a mortgage if the home requires roof repairs, electrical work, or a new heating system.

You’ll want to check with your lender to see what home conditions could be cause for denying your mortgage application.

Getting approved for a mortgage is a convoluted process at best, but a mortgage advisor can help you to navigate the approval process with ease. Contact your local mortgage professional for more tips on how to ensure you get approved.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 26, 2022

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - December 26, 2022Last week’s economic scheduled economic news included readings on sales of previously-owned homes, housing starts,  and building permits issued. Readings on the Consumer Price Index, which tracks inflation, were also released along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

Sales of previously-owned homes fall in November

The National Association of Realtors® reported fewer sales of previously-owned homes in November than in October. 4.09 million previously-owned homes were sold year-over-year in November as compared to 4.43 million sales reported in October. This was the tenth consecutive month showing fewer sales of previously-owned homes. Although mortgage rates and home prices have eased recently, it will take additional time for would-be buyers to adjust their budgets during and after the winter holiday season.

The  Commerce Department reported 1.34 million building permits issued in November; analysts expected a reading of 1.48 million permits issued as compared to October’s reading of 1.51 million permits issued. The onset of winter weather typically impacts building permits issued and rising concerns about inflation and recession also sidelined home builders who took a “wait-and-see” position about current economic conditions.

Housing starts were unchanged in November with 1.43 million housing starts reported on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Analysts expected a reading of 1.40 million starts in November.

Mortgage Rates. Inflation, and Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac reported mixed readings for average mortgage rates last week as the average for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by four basis points to 6.27 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 15 basis points to 5.69 percent.

Month-to-month inflation rose by 0.10 percent in November as compared to an increase of 0.40 percent in October. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 15 basis points to 5.69 percent.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel sectors, rose by 0.20 percent as compared to October’s month-to-month increase of 0.30 percent. Year-over-year inflation rose by 5.50 percent in November as compared to October’s year-over-year inflation rate of  6.10 percent.

216,000  first-time jobless claims were filed last week, which fell short of the expected reading of 220,000 initial claims filed but surpassed the prior week’s reading of  214,000 new jobless claims filed. The final consumer sentiment report for December showed an index reading of 59.7 as compared to the expected reading of 59.1 and November’s index reading of 59.1.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on U.S. housing markets, pending home sales, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims. 

NAHB: Home Builder Confidence in Housing Markets Slips in December

NAHB: Home Builder Confidence in Housing Markets Slips in DecemberDecember’s National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index reported slipping builder confidence in U.S. housing markets. The Housing Market Index readings fell every month in 2022. Recently rising mortgage rates, materials costs, and inclement winter weather contributed to builder skepticism about current housing market conditions.

December’s National  Housing Market Index reading of 31 was the lowest since mid-2012 not including readings published during the pandemic. By comparison, the Housing Market Index reading for December 2021 was 84. The three indices comprising the Housing Market Index reported mixed readings in December. Current home sales decreased by three points and home builder expectations for home sales in the next six months increased by four points. Builder expectations of buyer traffic in new housing developments were unchanged from November’s reading.

Regional housing market indices reported mixed index readings, which are seasonally adjusted. The Northeast region reported an index reading of 32 for December, which was unchanged from November. The Midwestern region had an index reading of 30 for December, which was five points lower than November’s reading. The South reported an index reading of 35, which was two points higher than in November. The West reported an index reading of 25 for December, which was three points lower than in November.

Mortgage rates recently fell below seven percent and the pace of home price growth is slowing. High home prices and rapidly rising mortgage rates led more than 60 percent of home builders to offer a variety of buyer incentives including mortgage rate buydowns and paying discount points charged to home buyers for lower mortgage rates.

Building affordable homes: The struggle is real

NAHB home builders expect weaker housing market conditions to continue through 2023 with full recovery starting in 2024. NAHB estimates that there is a shortage of 1.5 million new homes based on buyer demand and homes currently available. Jerry Konter, the chair of NAHB, said that home builders are struggling to keep housing affordable. Construction costs rose by 30 percent since the start of 2022 and there is little room for home builders to cut home prices.

Slower home price growth and lower mortgage rates will help prospective home buyers qualify for mortgages and encourage more buyers to enter the housing market.  

Mistakes To Avoid When Organizing Your Home

Mistakes To Avoid When Organizing Your HomeIf your house has a tremendous amount of clutter in it, you might finally think it is time to do something about it. Now is the perfect opportunity for you to get your house organized, and you probably want to start by tackling the piles of clothing and paper in the middle of the floor. Before you jump in feet first, take a look at a few mistakes you need to avoid when organizing your home.

Buying Boxes Before Assessing The Situation

You might be ready to start throwing items in boxes, but you need to assess how much you have first. If you don’t understand just how disorganized your house is, you will have a difficult time purchasing the right storage bins. Make sure you measure your drawers, closets, shelves, and even the space underneath your bed. That way, you understand exactly how many storage bins you need before you go on a shopping spree.

Not Scheduling The Organization Spree Ahead Of Time

You need to pick the right time to organize your house. Make sure you are focused and energetic, but ensure you are not distracted by something that might be more appealing. Even though the right time is not going to magically reveal itself to you, you need to be intentional about when you decide to start organizing your house.

Rearranging Instead Of Organizing

There is a difference between rearranging your house and organizing it. We are arranging your house simply means making it look “neat” and “clean.” It does not necessarily mean it is organized. You need to be intentional about where you place your items, and you must make sure you get rid of items you no longer need. Make sure that once you put an item in a certain location, you want it to stay there for the foreseeable future. This is particularly true when it comes to books, clothing, and pantry supplies.

Avoid These Mistakes When Organizing Your Home

There is no single right way to organize your house, but these are a few of the most common mistakes to avoid. Make sure you have a plan in place before you start organizing your house. That way, you can complete the job in a timely manner.